Williams Field High School junior Lindsay O’Driscoll takes to her busy schedule with enthusiasm.
She’s a 4.0 student in the National Honor Society, an All-State violinist who is second chair in the East Valley Symphony and works 20-plus hours as a courtesy clerk at Safeway. She’s gunning for a varsity spot on her school’s softball team and also volunteers as a chemistry and math tutor.
Above all else, O’Driscoll’s passion is helping others.
She’s found an outlet to do that by feeding the hungry, whether that means going door-to-door in her neighborhood asking for canned food donations or getting her classmates involved in doing the same.
“I owe it to my mom,” she said. “When I was growing up, she always had this set of mind where she would say, ‘You need to help other people breathe easier.’ That was definitely the quote of my childhood.”
Last year, O’Driscoll collected about 550 cans for a drive. She also actively visits Feed My Starving Children in Mesa and occasionally helps out at the United Food Bank in Mesa.
She’s been committed for quite a while, having first found her love of volunteering at a homeless shelter when she was 5 years old.
What O’Driscoll might not notice is that her efforts rub off on others.
“She will rally people and get kids her age excited about volunteering,” said her mom, Janice O’Driscoll. “She kind of doesn’t even know she’s doing it.”
Lindsay recently attended a four-day seminar with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization, which has helped her harness her giving and spread it to others.
“It was probably one of the best things I’ve experienced in my life,” she said. “I’m kind of getting more involved in my school because we made it a club, officially. And it focuses on leadership and volunteering, service projects, everything like that.”
O’Driscoll has invested other chunks of her time into learning about the medical field.
She’s entering her third year as a volunteer at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, where she has aided in the outpatient and central sterile departments. The former impacted how she views caring for others.
“I got to be social a lot with people who came in,” she said. “I just really enjoyed that I was able to just talk to people and give them a shoulder to lean on.”
While O’Driscoll isn’t sure the exact career path she’d like to pursue following high school, she is interested in the medical field.
See a theme?
It’s about helping others breathe a little bit easier.
Much of that is related to her mom’s advice but also her experience of watching her mother undergo a serious brain surgery that likely saved her life.
“I just can’t imagine if she wasn’t able to get that surgery or if we didn’t have doctors there to help her, how hard my life would’ve been without a mom — or how her life must’ve been,” O’Driscoll said. “Just seeing that really hits me. If I could do that for somebody or some other family, that would be one of the most amazing things.”